I received this message from Greenpeace in my mailbox the other day and felt like sharing it with the likes of you:
Today I’m writing to you about the Fukushima nuclear disaster because I need your support. First, try to imagine being forced to abandon your home so quickly that you cannot even return to warn your neighbours and friends to evacuate. Then imagine being told you may not be able to live in your home again for decades. It is too dangerous, there is too much radiation. That is what happened to some 160,000 people because of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. For the past two years these people have lived in limbo: not able to return, not able to start a new life, bearing the burden of the nuclear industry’s disaster which the Red Cross calls an “ongoing humanitarian crisis”.
You may never have heard of General Electric, Hitachi and Toshiba’s connection to this disaster. But these three famous companies were closely involved in the design, construction and servicing of the Fukushima nuclear reactors, which experienced multiple failures and three full meltdowns almost two years ago.
Then these companies walked away from the disaster without being held accountable, including without paying any of the cost – estimated at 250 billion US dollars.
General Electric, Hitachi and Toshiba are nuclear supplier companies who have left the Japanese people, especially the victims of Fukushima, to bear the burden of this nuclear disaster. In comparison with the zero dollars these companies have paid, the Japanese people have already paid 43.7 billion US dollars worth of public money.
The nuclear industry profits while creating huge nuclear risk, but people pay the price for this risk. This is partly because of flawed nuclear liability laws which prioritise the profits of the industry over the health and safety of the public by exempting nuclear supplier companies from paying for nuclear disasters. The situation in Japan is not an exception, nuclear liability laws are like this in most countries. The nuclear industry needs to be accountable just like any other industry in the world. The solution is simple “The polluter must pay.”